Welcome on board, Nikara!

We are super happy and proud to welcome Nikara in our team! Nikara is experienced in digital business development, used to work for Vodafone in New Zealand and will support the further growth of Horizon in DACH and US. Please, feel free to get in touch with our first ever Kiwi. Kia Ora, Nikara ;)

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What do you actually do and what made you join Horizon?

I was born in South Africa and moved to New Zealand when I was 5 years old with my family. I started my passion for business development in High School at 16, when I participated in something called the ‘Young Enterprise Scheme’ as part of business studies. After creating products like candy floss and ‘unique flavours of fudge’ (which were delicious, might I add) and gaining momentum of developing a business from the ground up, I found myself very motivated and passionate on the topic. In the last year of High School business studies, I took on the role as a Managing Director for a company named ‘TLinks’, which gained national recognition. You can view this here.

My drive and motivation for business helped me gain the ‘Future Leaders Scholarship’ for studying Business Management at Massey University in Auckland. I began my studies in 2017, completed an exchange year at EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht in 2018, and completed my Bachelor in early 2020, but unfortunately couldn’t attend my ceremony due to Covid-19 restricting mass gatherings. During my studies, I continued my passion for business development through competitions and workshops. The biggest achievement for me was winning the People’s Choice Award for a pitching competition with my idea called ‘STIK’, which was basically a LinkedIn for freelancers to connect with potential clients and vice versa.

My exchange in Germany was so awesome, I felt eager to return to Germany to work and live, so I decided to come back and pursue my career this year. I was looking for a challenge, something that brings me out of my comfort zone and puts my knowledge to work. When Daniel approached me about a potential Junior Business Development role in Horizon, I knew it was a perfect fit. Coming into Horizon in the early stages gave me the opportunity to be a part of its growth, and to apply my experience with digital products. I joined Horizon to fulfil what I was looking for, but after joining I quickly realised the unaccounted benefits. The openness of the team, the support and the resources and that allow me to learn and increase my skill-set is why I decided that being part of the team at Horizon was an excellent decision.

What are your best practices when it comes to launching new digital products?

Firstly, I would say you have to be passionate about what you are doing to get your pitch right. Launching digital products nowadays is easier than ever before, but the copious amounts of products out there is making it harder to compete and stay competitive. I also believe that having deep insights into your target market and solid validation is crucial for a digital product. You need to know your ideal customer persona, and the crucial touch-points that are essential to a sound and thorough marketing strategy, which ultimately determines how successful the launch will be.

You joined us two weeks ago, what are your biggest insights and what surprised you the most?

I think that the biggest insight for me was realising that it is quite difficult to start a new job in a very digital environment. It is both equally a challenge and a very valuable learning curve, but our daily meetings in the morning are extremely helpful and provides a good structure for the day, which is important for a newbie.

What surprised me the most was the ease of working from home thanks to the capabilities of online communication. At first, I was a bit apprehensive at the thought of working from home when communication is key to aligning with team members on certain tasks, but it has actually proven to be just as effective as being in the office with all your colleagues.

Remote or office — what is your favourite?

It really depends on my tasks. I do enjoy working from home because I can sleep in a little longer, and I have more time to enjoy my hobbies after work such as going to the gym. I also prefer to work in the office when I need to use the monitors, or if I just need to get out of the house! :)

You were raised in New Zealand, what do you think about your new home and what do you miss the most?

I really enjoy living and working in Germany. It is a cultural melting pot and there is so much to do, especially with living near Rheingau (best wine in the world!). The biggest challenge for me right now is my limited German, but I am getting better everyday.

I would say I miss my friends, family and my dog the most, but technology makes it easier to connect with them whenever I want. And of course, I miss the beaches and the beautiful sceneries in New Zealand, but living in the middle of Europe and being so close to countries like Spain, makes me excited to go on some adventures (of course after Covid-19 allows us!).

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Written by
Daniel Putsche
Daniel is the Founder & CEO of Horizon. He is driving the strategic development of the organization, establishing a thriving company culture with a team on a mission to help teams build products that customers really want. Daniel has a strong record in sales, marketing and building startups from zero to one. Before Horizon, he successfully founded and co-founded multiple companies, i.e. Candylabs, BikeBeat and Venture Advisory Partners.
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